Scripture Verse

He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground, a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. Psalm 107:33–4


Thomas Gibbons
© National Portrait Gallery

Words: At­trib­ut­ed to Tho­mas Gib­bons in A Se­lect­ion of Hymns from the Best Au­thors, by John Rip­pon (1751–1836), num­ber 501, alt. On a year of threat­en­ing drought.

Music: Ban­gor Will­iam Tan­s’ur, 1734 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

William Tans’ur


The spring, great God, at Thy command,
Leads forth the smiling year;
Gay verdure, foliage, blooms and flowers,
T’adorn her reign, appear.

But soon canst Thou in righteous wrath
Blast all the promised joy,
The elements await Thy nod
To bless, or to destroy.

The sun, Thy minister of love,
That from the naked ground
Calls forth the hidden seeds to birth,
And spreads their beauties round;

But now, at God’s dread order sends
Destructive darts and fires;
Hills, plains, and vales are parched with drought,
And blooming life expires.

Like burnished brass, the heav’n around
In angry terror burns;
Our earth becomes a joyless waste,
And into iron turns.

O pity, Lord, in our distress,
Nor with our land contend;
Bid the avenging skies relent,
And showers of mercy send.